A month ago, I visited the Earthbound Farm headquarters with some wonderful bloggers and met the lovely Carrie Vitt, who runs the deliciously organic blog sharing grain-free and paleo recipes using whole foods ingredients. I was so inspired by Carrie’s story of how she was able to reverse Hashimoto’s disease, chronic migraines, IBS, and eczema by going on an elimination diet, and transforming her health by eating a whole foods diet devoid of processed foods and grains. So, I am so excited that her latest cookbook, The Grain-Free Family Table has just been released so you, too, can improve your health. If you suffer from celiac disease, allergies, diabetes, skin disorders, migraines, Hashimoto’s disease, or any other auto-immune diseases, you may find this book incredibly helpful.
With all of the hype about Paleo living, I should point out that Carrie does not follow a strict paleo diet. She follows a whole foods grain-free diet. What’s the difference? While a Gluten-Free diet omits wheat, barley, and rye, a Paleo diet omits all processed foods, grains, legumes, and dairy, a grain-free diet omits all grains and processed foods (including quinoa, corn, and rice) but still includes dairy and legumes. Grain-Free eating is a great place to start on a healthier journey because it isn’t as restrictive as Paleo and is also a very nourishing diet that is intended to help heal the system instead of simply taking out the offensive foods and never eating them again.
What’s great about this book, is that Carrie shares her years of experimentation which makes everything so much easier for anybody embarking on a Grain-Free Diet. Carrie starts by outlining the essential grain-free pantry ingredients: grain-free flours, oils and fats, milks, sweeteners, flavorings, and salt. I love that she is also a fan of Celtic Sea Salt. I can’t live without that stuff! You can also take a look at Carrie’s kitchen essentials.
But, what I find most helpful about this book is the how-to-adapt-recipes section, where Carrie guides you through adapting your favorite traditional recipes to be grain-free, and tips for how to eat out as a grain-free eater. I also really love the Grain-Free Basics section, with recipes for broth, nut butter, nut milk, sauerkraut, kombucha, cauliflower rice, cashew cheese, whipped coconut milk, coconut butter, homemade vanilla extract, grain-free baking powder, pie crust, bread, activated nuts and seeds, ketchup, and more.
Now, for those of you who are vegan (like me) this book contains a lot of animal products – meats, eggs, and dairy. However, there are quite a few recipes that are vegan or can be adapted to be vegan. Try the grain-free biscuits, quick chia seed strawberry jam, coconut, berry, and spinach smoothie (sans the 4 egg yolks), berries and mint, no-sugar added margarita, baby greens, avocado, red onion, and strawberry salad, arugula salad, citrus salad with shallots and pistachios (I used coconut nectar), sauteed bell peppers with chimichurri sauce, sweet buttered peas with orange and mint gremolata (I used vegan butter), roasted red onions, sauteed kale with raisins and walnuts (use plant-based oil), cauliflower steaks with olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and capers, chia seed pudding, apricot pecan cookies (I used maple syrup and vegan butter), blackberry apple crisp (I used vegan butter and maple syrup), baked pears (use coconut oil and coconut cream), granola (use stevia or maple syrup), and banana maple ice pops. If you eat meat, there are a ton of great options.
My favorite recipe in the book is this cauliflower rice salad because it’s such a wonderful example of a simple grain-free dish you can whip up in less than 20 minutes. I absolutely love cauliflower rice. You just chop up a whole head of cauliflower, discard the tough core, throw the chopped cauliflower into the food processor, and pulse a few times until it is the consistency of rice or couscous. You can eat this “rice” raw (I love to use it as a base for tabouli) lightly saute it (like in this recipe) or roast it for 30 minutes on a baking tray in the oven at 375 degrees F.
What I love the most about this book is the sense of love and community that shines through the book. Having met Carrie, she is such a lovely, genuine person committed to her husband and children, and that love really forms the heart of this book. Could her two daughters be any more adorable? So gorgeous!
Get your copy of The Grain-Free Family Table. It’s delightful.
I found a fantastic simple thanksgiving side dish in the new Eat Clean Live Well cookbook from Terry Walters. Sugar snap peas are so naturally sweet and delicious. You don’t have to do much to make them taste amazing. This is a really easy recipe that allows the natural flavor of the vegetables to shine.
For those of your who don’t know Terry Walters, she is at the forefront of the clean eating lifestyle movement and is dedicated to sharing her knowledge and passion to empower others to make positive changes for our health and the health of our environment. Terry is the author of two best-selling cookbooks, Clean Food and Clean Start. She is a James Beard Foundation Award finalist and recipient of the Nautilus Gold and Silver Book Awards. Of her first book, chef Mario Batali said: “Clean Food is the most exciting book based on fresh produce and simple recipes I have used in years.”
Terry is regularly featured on television and radio, in print and Internet media, and she serves as Advisor to the Board of Directors for Urban Oaks Organic Farm and as Director of Culinary Education for The Institute of Sustainable Nutrition. She works extensively as an educator, consultant, clean food chef and advocate for healthy change in the way we eat and live.
Her latest book isn’t just a cookbook, it’s a template for eating sustainably with the cycle of the seasons. Terry offers tons of practical advice for stocking a pantry, menu planning, upcycling leftovers, sourcing local food and supporting CSA’s, planting seeds and growing a garden, preserving seasonal produce for use all-year-round, shortcuts for creating quick healthy meals, cleaning up your home and environment, strengthening your immune system, maintaining balance in the colder months, homemade gift ideas, and more.
Then her plant-based recipes are thoughtfully grouped by season, and there are some really interesting flavor combinations. For Spring try the Wild Ramp Pesto, Artichoke Tapenade, Red Lentil Soup with Cumin and Spinach, Healing Mung Bean Soup, Arugula and Mint Salad with Roasted Rhubarb and Lemon Maple Dressing. Apricot Millet with Sage and Dill, Sprouted Lentil Salad with Dried Plums and Toasted Walnuts, Carrot Cake, and Chocolate Chunk Banana Loaves.
For Summer I love the Green Gazpacho, Carrot Peach Soup, Purslane with Strawberries and Fennel, Grilled Kohlrabi and Figs with Cipollini Dressing, Sprouted Chickpea Salad, Shitake Mushroom Bean Burgers, Watermelon Ice with Coconut Milk, and Coconut Cacao Energy Bars.
Fall flavors include Smokey Eggplant Dip, Pear Chutney, Love Your Belly Kraut, Kimchi, Mushroom Soup with Caramelized Onions, Brussels Sprout Slaw with Cranberries, Cauliflower Steaks with Ginger, Turmeric, and Orange, Roasted Squash, Caramelized Shitake and Shallot Lasagna, Kale and Raosted Sunchoke Pesto over Butterbeans,
Get your copy of Eat Clean Live Well
Scott and I are huge Candle Cafe fans. We never miss eating at any of their locations when we visit NYC, and after having spent an incredible thanksgiving at the restaurant two years ago when we were living in Manhattan, we could not wait to get our hands on Vegan Holiday Cooking from Cafe Cafe.
If you’re looking for healthy vegan holiday recipes this book is going to blow your mind with the creative offerings. The book is broken up into the different holidays throughout the year so you can easily whip up something healthy and delicious for any festive occasion. Find recipes for Super Bowl, Lunar New Year, Valentine’s Day, Passover, Easter, Cinco De Mayo, 4th Of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Eve.
I am literally cooking my way through the book because every single thing I have ever tried at the restaurant and in the previous cookbooks has been extraordinary and full of complex flavors. So, I don’t want to miss a thing! So far I have made the roasted poblano guacamole, make your own chili bowl, miso-ginger braised tofu over bamboo rice pilaf, sake-lime sorbet with toasted coconut (wow!), sweet potato latkes with almond creme fraiche, flourless chocolate cake with macaroon crust (just heaven!), chickpea crepes with berries and vanilla-lavender cream, quinoa vegetable cakes, La Poblana sangria, tempeh fajitas, and the caramel flan! Everything has been phenomenal.
For thanksgiving and christmas recipes we’ve made the roasted brussels sprouts with apples, cranberries, and maple-cayenne dressing, roasted cauliflower and fennel soup with truffle oil (ah-maaazing), the christmas pomegranate punch, and this roasted squash soup! Because I am posting the week of thanksgiving I had to share this soup because it’s super delicious and different from your traditional squash soup. You just need to be organized and soak the almonds the night before to make the almond cream. But, if you forget, you could always serve it without it. It’s still delicious!
This smooth and creamy soup, garnished with rich almond cream and toasted pumpkin seeds, makes an elegant starter for a Thanksgiving feast. We recommend making batches of this nourishing soup all season long and keeping it on hand (it freezes beautifully) for cozy dinners that will warm your heart and soul. Note that the almonds must be soaked overnight.
Don’t be intimidated if some ingredients seem unfamiliar to you. There is a great resource section at the back which will help you find any new ingredients.
If you’re looking for spectacular holiday recipes do not miss getting a copy of this book. I just love it!